Here we go again. That’s all I have to say after hearing about another brainless summer blockbuster movie titled — of course — Marmaduke.

It’s predictable. Cross Beverly Hills Chihuahua with Marley and Me and you’ve got one sorry, derivative dog movie well-poised to ruin yet another breed. 

Only this one’s got an added bonus: His ears.

What were they thinking? OK, so the Jack Russell who speaks in "gopher" is a good line. Otherwise, I can’t imagine how a pack of dancing dogs, canine surfing, and bad manners aplenty could possibly interest anyone north of ten years old — even if Owen Wilson tackles the dog’s role (where he belongs, IMO). 

Here’s what PetDocsOnCall has to say:

There is absolutely nothing I dislike more than cute, animated, animal based movies coming out. Beverly Hills Chihuahua. G Force. 101 Dalmations [sic]. You get the picture. When these movies come out, for some reason, most of America loses their minds and suddenly decides that *that* type of animal is the perfect pet for them.

Instead of researching the breed to find out if it is a right fit for them, they go and purchase or rescue one. Sometimes this works out. More often than not, it doesn't. The breed does not work with the family or lifestyle for some reason, and then we end up with an inundation of these dogs to shelters. Some will be rescued, but most will most likely be euthanized.

They are HUGE, they eat A LOT, and are generally of a good temperament and need a moderate amount of exercise. They are also very people oriented. If you have a busy schedule or limited funds, this dog may not be a good choice for you.

I couldn’t have said it better. Except they omitted one tiny detail I can’t get past: As if it isn’t bad enough that Great Danes will inevitably be overbred as a result of the exposure (to be sure, the puppy mills are very likely ramping up production already) ... what’s up with Marmaduke’s cropped ears!?

Seriously? Could they not come up with a floppy-eared Dane to replace the Marmaduke of old? Did they have to so slavishly adhere to a smarmy, outdated comic strip that they couldn’t omit this unsavory detail? After all, ear cropping is widely regarded as an unnecessary and painful cosmetic procedure.

Ear cropping is already illegal in Europe and other countries. In the U.S., even the conservative American Veterinary Medical Association speaks out against ear cropping. Sure, the AKC (American Kennel Club) defends it, but it also issues reams of purebred "papers" to puppy mills. It’s not exactly an organization whose ethics I would defend.

So how about you? Does the Marmaduking of great Dane-ism worry you as much as it does me?

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: "Harlequin Great Dane Pup" by web_ape